Age: No age statement
Of all the intriguing whiskies in Mackmyra’s Seasons range, Vinterrök is one that I’ve been wanting to try for a while. Sure, other smoky Mackmyras do exist, but a finish in strong ale casks makes Vinterrök sound like a particularly sumptuous affair. Mackmyra ages its spirit in Swedish oak, producing a rougher, more robust flavour palette that in my opinion lends itself quite well to a smoky whisky.
Last year I tried Vinterrök’s seasonal sibling Vinterdröm, which is a good whisky that nonetheless falls short of excellence. Vinterrök is another matter. Sweet without being fruity, this dram is a bold, flavourful expression that satisfies the senses yet leaves you wanting more. In Mackmyra’s usual classy packaging, Vinterrök would make a nice gift too. Or you can be sensible and decide to keep it all for yourself, this is tasty stuff!
Colour: Soft amber
Nose: Subtly smoky, with sweet, oaky aromas. Fresh wood shavings intertwine with dried apricots. There’s a hefty dash of spice too, with scents of nutmeg accompanied by crème caramel. Slowly fading, Vinterrök leaves us with the fragrance of milk chocolate with a pinch of sea salt.
Palate: Full-bodied and creamy, as lush notes of butterscotch and wholemeal biscuits tingle the senses. There’s none of the intense medicinal peat reek you’ll find in some Scotch whiskies, but instead a more subdued, friendly wood smoke. This gives way to cracked peppercorn, toffee and marzipan. What a handsome dram this is!
Finish: Intensely spicy, oaky and quite warming. Dark chocolate fuses with toasted barley to produce a pleasantly bitter aftertaste that lingers for a long, long time. Hugely satisfying!
Verdict: Vinterrök is a wonderful Mackmyra. Extremely rich and flavourful, I just can’t get over how smooth and creamy this whisky is. While the smoke is clearly present, it’s not necessarily this whisky’s most defining characteristic, and blends in perfectly with Vinterrök’s profile of honeyed cereal and spiced oak. With flavours of barley, cocoa and toffee, Mackmyra have produced a chocolate digestive in dram-form, immensely rewarding and incredibly moorish. Vinterrök truly is a treat. This wintery wonderland is welcome in my collection any time of year.